Tag: Arianism

Rome Insists

Rome Insists posted in Eleison Comments on December 17, 2011

At about the same time that Bishop Fellay was letting it be known that the SSPX will ask for clarification of the Doctrinal Preamble (Rome’s reaction to the doctrinal discussions running from 2009 to spring of this year), one of Rome’s four theologians taking part in those discussions, Monsignore Fernando Ocariz, published an essay “On Adhesion to the Second Vatican Council.” His timing shows that we are not out of the woods, on the contrary! But let us look at his arguments, which are at least clear.

In his introduction he argues that the “pastoral” Council was nonetheless doctrinal. What is pastoral is based on doctrine. What is pastoral seeks to save souls, which involves doctrine. The Council documents contain much doctrine. Good! The Monsignore is at least not going to dodge doctrinal accusations levelled at the Council by pretending the Council was not doctrinal, as have done many of its defenders.

Then on the Church’s Magisterium in general, he says that Vatican II consisted of the Catholic bishops who have “the charism of truth, the authority of Christ and the light of the Holy Spirit.” To deny that, he says, is to deny something of the very essence of the Church. But, Monsignore, what about the mass of Catholic bishops going along with the Arian heresy under Pope Liberius? Exceptionally, even the near unanimity of Catholic bishops can go doctrinally astray. If it happened once, it can happen again. It happened at Vatican II, as its documents show.

He proceeds to argue that the Council’s non-dogmatic and non-defined teachings nevertheless require of Catholics their assent, called “religious submission of will and intellect,” which is “an act of obedience well-rooted in confidence in the divine assistance given to the Magisterium.” Monsignore, to the Conciliar as to the Arian bishops no doubt God offered all the assistance they needed, but they refused it, as is shown by the departure of their documents from his Tradition.

Finally Monsignore Ocariz begs the question by arguing that since the Catholic Magisterium is continuous and Vatican II was the Magisterium, therefore its teachings can only be continuous with the past. And if they look like a break with the past, then the Catholic thing to do is to interpret them as though there is no such break, as does for instance Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutic of continuity.” But Monsignore, these arguments can be turned around. In fact there is a doctrinal break, as is clear from examining the Conciliar documents themselves. (For instance, is there (Vatican II), or is there not (Tradition), a human right not to be prevented from spreading error?) Therefore Vatican II was not the Church’s true Magisterium, and the Catholic thing is to show that there is indeed this break with Tradition, as did Archbishop Lefebvre, and not to pretend that there is no such break.

The Monsignore’s last word is to claim that only the Magisterium can interpret the Magisterium. Which takes us right back to Square One.

Dear readers, Rome is not by any means out of the woods. Heaven help us.

Kyrie eleison.

Doctrine Underestimated

Doctrine Underestimated posted in Eleison Comments on September 25, 2010

In a generally thoughtful magazine from the USA, “Culture Wars,” the Editor recently took me personally to task, together with the Society of St Pius X as a whole, for wilfully cutting ourselves off from the mainstream Catholic Church. Let me present as briefly and as fairly as possible E. Michael Jones’ argument, with its main steps lettered to facilitate the answer:—

His main point is that the problem of Vatican II is not doctrinal: “(A) The Council documents are not themselves responsible for any of the craziness following the Council in the name of its “spirit.” As for the documents themselves, they are sometimes ambiguous, but (B) God is always with His Church, which is why (C) only something Catholic can gain the assent of the world’s assembled bishops, as happened at Vatican II. (D) Therefore it can and must suffice to interpret the ambiguities in the light of Tradition, as Archbishop Lefebvre himself once proposed to do.

“Therefore (E) Vatican II is Traditional, and any problem between Rome and the SSPX cannot be doctrinal. (F) Therefore the SSPX’s real problem is that it refuses communion out of a fear of contamination, (G) proceeding from its schismatic lack of charity. (H) The ensuing guilt they cover up by pretending that the Church is in an unprecedented emergency, brought on by the anti-doctrine of Vatican II. (I) Therefore the SSPX is saying that the Church has failed in its mission, and that the SSPX is the Church. Nonsense! SSPX bishops, sign over to Rome!”

REPLY: the problem of Vatican II is ESSENTIALLY doctrinal. (A) Alas, the Vatican II documents are indeed responsible for the “spirit” of Vatican II and its crazy aftermath. Their very ambiguity, recognized by E.M.J., let the craziness loose. (B) God is indeed with His Church, but He leaves His churchmen free to choose to do it great, but never fatal, damage (cf.Lk. XVIII, 8). (C) Thus the mass of Catholic bishops He let fall in the appalling Arian crisis of the fourth century. What happened once is happening again, only worse. (D) At an early stage in the post-Conciliar fight for Tradition, it may have been reasonable to appeal for Vatican II to be interpreted in the light of Tradition, but that stage is long past. The ambiguity’s bitter fruits have long since proved that the subtly poisoned Conciliar documents cannot be salvaged.

Thus (E) the Council is not Traditional, and the Rome-SSPX clash is ESSENTIALLY doctrinal, so (F) there is good reason to fear contamination, because of Vatican II’s false doctrine – it is leading souls to Hell. (G) Nor is there a schismatic mentality amongst (non-sedevacantist) Traditionalists, even though (H) the Church is in the thick of the worst emergency of her entire history. (I) But just as in the Arian crisis the few bishops who kept the Faith proved that the Church had not absolutely failed, so today the SSPX belongs to the Church and is keeping the Faith, without remotely pretending to replace, or to be on its own, the Church.

Michael, when, in all Church history, were her assembled bishops deliberately ambiguous? You admit the ambiguity of Vatican II. When did churchmen ever resort to ambiguity unless it was to pave the way for heresy? In Our Lord’s Church, yes is to be yes, and no is to be no (Mt.V, 37).

Kyrie eleison.

Conciliar “Theologian” – I

Conciliar “Theologian” – I posted in Eleison Comments on June 5, 2010

The havoc wrought upon souls throughout the world by the 1960’s collapse of the mass of Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council, is immeasurable. So one can hardly reflect too much on the essential problem, because it is still very much with us, in fact more so than ever. It threatens to send all of our souls down to Hell. Last year the Italian fortnightly periodical, Si Si No No, published an article summarising the main errors of a pioneer “theologian” of Vatican II, the French Dominican Fr. Marie-Dominique Chenu. Laid out still more briefly below, his six errors point to the heart of the problem: the putting of man in the place of God (I have changed their order – thereby hangs a tale for another “EC”):

Turning to man, as though it is God that needs to be adapted to modern man, and not modern man to God. But Catholicism strives always to fit man to God, and not the other way around.

Submitting divine Revelation to modern ways of thinking, e.g. Descartes, Kant, Hegel. No more is there any absolute, objective Truth. All religious statements become merely relative and subjective.

Submitting divine Revelation to the historical method, meaning that every truth arose merely in its historical context, so that just as every historical context was or is changing, so no truth is unchanging or unchangeable.

Believing in pantheistic evolution, meaning that God is no longer the Creator essentially distinct from creation. He becomes no different from creatures, which come into being by evolution, and by evolution are constantly changing.

Putting feelings first in matters of religion, i.e. putting religious sentimental experience above either supernatural Faith in the mind or supernatural Charity in the will.

Denying the difference between good and evil, by claiming that the mere existence of a human act makes it good. Now it is true that every human act that happens has the goodness of being, but it only has moral goodness if it is ordered to its end, which is ultimately God. Human acts not ordered to God are morally evil.

The six errors are obviously inter-connected. If (1) religion is to centre on me, then (2 & 3) I must unhook my mind from reality, where religion centres on God. With the mind crippled, then (4) “nothing is but what is not,” so everything evolves, and (5) feelings take over (whereupon religion is by the fault of men feminized, because emotion is women’s prerogative). Finally, where feelings replace truth, (6) morality collapses.

In the Vatican II documents themselves, these errors are rather implicit than explicit, because the errors had to be disguised for the documents to get the vote of the mass of Catholic bishops who were attending the Council but were not yet sufficiently up-dated. However, these errors represent the fully up-dated “spirit of Vatican II,” which is where the Council was headed, and that is why the official Church has been on a path of self-destruction for the past 45 years: 1965 to 2010. For how many more years?

Kyrie eleison.

Guideline Queries

Guideline Queries posted in Eleison Comments on March 22, 2008

A reader of “Eleison Comments” of two weeks ago had some reasonable questions. Here are some answers:

Q.1 If the Conciliar Church is proving defectible by its Conciliarism while the Society of St.Pius X is defectible by nature (not having the Church’s guarantees of indefectibility), then where is that indefectible Church?

A 1 Defectible plus defectible equals defectible. But defectible plus defectible plus God equals indefectible. In the Arian crisis of the fourth century, Pope Liberius was proving defectible by his support of Arian bishops while St. Athanasius enjoyed no guarantee of indefectibility. Yet the Lord God used both to carry the Church through until the Papacy came back to its Catholic senses. Even with the best of Popes, the Lord God alone is responsible for his Church’s indefectibility. In God’s good time he will rescue his popes from Conciliarism. Meanwhile the SSPX, amongst others, is playing the part of St. Athanasius, but even if the SSPX were to defect – God forbid! – it would be child’s play for the Lord God to raise other carriers of his Church’s indefectible Truth.

Q 2 Does the indefectible Church still exist outside the SSPX?

A 2 Of course it does. Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth, meant to be firmly united, were split by Vatican II, but the Authority continues through the line of popes (unless and until we have clear proof to the contrary, which we do not yet have, and may or may not ever have), while the Truth continues outstandingly (for the moment) through the SSPX. In God’s good time that Authority and Truth will be reunited. Meanwhile the SSPX’s function is to carry, and not betray, the Truth.

Q 3 But both the Conciliar Church is defectible, and the SSPX is defectible! I insist – how can the indefectible Church be continuing?

A 3 A river split into two streams still continues to flow. Normally the two streams rejoin. Certainly the stream of Catholic Authority and the stream of Catholic Truth will rejoin. Meanwhile the Lord God is obtaining the purification of his Church . . .

Q 4 Did not Archbishop Lefebvre sign on finally to all the supposedly heretical documents of Vatican II? Was he not then also a heretic? A 4 Firstly, the Archbishop always said that he never signed on to two of the worst documents, namely Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae, and when people used to say that he did sign on to them, he replied that he himself should know what he did or did not sign on to.

Secondly, what more than anything characterizes the Council documents is their ambiguity (see the first Volumes of Prof. Doermann’s series on the theology of John-Paul II, and of Atila Guimaraes’ series on the Council). Countless propositions in those documents can be read in a Catholic or in a non-Catholic way. Whatever the Archbishop signed on to, he no doubt signed on to in its Catholic sense.

Q 5 But where, if anywhere, did the Archbishop clearly repudiate the non-Catholic sense of the Council’s ambiguities? A 5 In most everything he wrote and said about the Council, he was attacking the errors disguised within the ambiguities. However, for as long as a heretic is still being ambiguous, he may not yet be clearly heretical, and it is correspondingly difficult for him to be clearly “repudiated.” Precisely here is the deadly character of Vatican II. Whenever the defenders of Vatican II are attacked for their Neo-modernism, they can scuttle back within the Catholic sense of their ambiguities, and the liberalism in which the mass of us are today marinated enables them to get away with it. It would follow that God alone can clean up this mess in his Church.

Kyrie eleison.


Agreementitis posted in Eleison Comments on September 29, 2007

An argument often heard in favor of the Society of St. Pius X coming to some kind of agreement with the neo-modernists in Rome runs something like this: “You cannot expect Rome to come back to the true Faith overnight. Down all the history of the Church such returns have taken tens or hundreds of years. Do you want us to wait out our lives before we can be received back into the Church? You seem to like proverbs – how about ‘Half a loaf is better than no bread’? Souls without number are waiting for the Society to move.”

There are in fact several arguments here. Let us take them one by one:—

*What I expect Rome to do or not to do is of no importance. On the contrary the true Faith, complete, is as important as eternal salvation or damnation. The true Faith, because “Without the faith it is impossible to please God” (St. Paul to the Hebrews). Complete, because whoever denies one single Article of the Faith has lost the Faith altogether (Catholic doctrine), and Neo-modernism turns to mush every single Article of the Faith.

*It may have taken a long time for past heresies to be washed out of the Church’s system, but if Catholics faced with the Arian heresy had agreed to Semi-Arianism or even Quarter-Arianism, how would the Church have survived? The Church survived thanks to Catholics like St. Athanasius who insisted on the entire Arian heresy being washed out – see the Athanasian Creed.

*A wait of 30 or 50 years or even longer is of little importance compared with the purity of the Faith. As St. Athanasius famously said, “They have the buildings, we have the Faith.” It is for those who, by the grace of God, have the Faith to “receive back,” so to speak, those who have mushed it (nor does any SSPXer in his right mind presume that the SSPX has any kind of monopoly on that Faith).

*Half a loaf is still bread, and nothing but bread. On the contrary half a truth is necessarily accompanied by poisonous untruth, otherwise it would be nothing but truth.

*If the SSPX were ever to give souls a lead in mixing Catholic truth with error, it would be better if it had gone out of existence first. May it never come to that!

Kyrie eleison.